A Spring Tale of Two Plovers

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTYimg_0660

Forget the American Robin and the Eastern Bluebirds as being the winged harbingers of spring. In Oakland County, the impending arrival of spring was confirmed at the Red Oaks Dog Park early on Friday, March 13. It was a day when the mercury flirted with freezing, the sky was murky gray and slushy ice covered the new Red Oaks Trail that meanders west from the dog park. Even over the nearby din of Dequindre Road traffic, the shrill call of Killdeer (Charadrius vociferous) could be heard. I smiled as I remembered an Audubon article that mentioned 18th Century naturalists referring to this common member of the plover family as the Chattering Plover and the Noisy Plover. Their unforgettable and distinctly shrill call is music to the ears of anyone that welcomes spring. For the next 10 minutes, I watched a pair of shoreless shorebirds hunting for brunch – in a dog park.

 

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